It's that time of year again. Time for warmer weather, barbecues, outdoor recreation, longer days and - fireworks! But, hold on - it could very well be that it's illegal where you live.

Ethan Miller

Every year, in the lead-up to the 4th of July Celebration and seemingly days afterward, the sound of exploding rockets can be heard and the sight of red glare in neighborhoods where the setting off of firecrackers and Whistling Pete's is illegal, can be seen.

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It's always irritating and frustrating to me that there are people so clueless as to ignore well-known prohibitions to selfishly get their jollies on causing things to explode. I doubt seriously that these are cases of unbridled patriotism -- like someone saying: 'Golly, I'm so in love with the country that I just forget myself and illegally blow up stuff! Sorry! My bad!"

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If you're a pat owner like me, you know how terrifying these constant, loud explosions can affect dogs and cats alike. They clearly don't know what to make of the booms and bangs and it's important to anticipate the onslaught and prepare to keep pets indoors and comforted.

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Everyone should know by now, but there really are only a handful of cities in Yakima County where fireworks are allowed to be sold and set off. Moxee, Zillah, Granger and Mabton are the only cities - all others, including the city of Yakima and unincorporated areas of Yakima Country - fireworks are prohibited.

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With everything being so dry and with our fire seasons being so fierce in the recent years, it just makes sense to minimize risk as much as possible and opt to dispense with the sparklers.

Celebrate the season and stay safe! Maybe family can have a game night instead!